Wednesday, March 10, 2004

AdWatch: Listerine

So I'm watching TV the other night, and saw a commercial for Listerine. It shows a woman coming home to her family from the grocery store. She describing all the stuff she bought and says "Oh, and I got some Listerine." Then we hear scuffling and she looks around to see her family has disappeared. She calls out "Relax, it's less intense." The family members crawl out of cupboards and from behind furniture, relieved. It turns out to be an ad for the new citrus-flavored Listerine.

Now stop and think about this. This could easily be used as an effective commercial for a competitor to Listerine, pointing out that Listerine burns your mouth. But it's not. It's a commercial for Listerine. Granted, a different brand of Listerine, but it's still Listerine. This is a familiar theme, going back to their commercial showing a guy rinsing with Listerine, making grimaces as a voice basically tells him he's a wimp if he can't handle the pain for 30 seconds. The slogan is "You can handle it, germs can't."

First of all, why do they sell a product that they know people don't like? Listerine is painful to use. If they know and are addressing the problem in their commercials, shouldn't they be working on ways to stop it? Instead, they make fun of the problem in the commercials, then say "Go ahead and use it, anyway." What's more, they have developed a less painful Listerine (I'm assuming, I haven't tried it), and they're selling it by bashing the old product.

Right now, I should say something enlightening as to what it all means, but I don't have a clue. I just know it means something.
Categories: opinion

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